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Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011)

Damien Wayne Echols , Jason Baldwin , Joe Berlinger , Bruce Sinofsky  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Damien Wayne Echols, Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley Jr.
  • Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2012
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,174 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


Destined to rank as one of the major achievements in American documentary. --Variety

We tend to think of movies as fun diversions. But every once in a while they have the power to change lives. --Entertainment Weekly

A testament to the power of documentary. --The Hollywood Reporter

Product Description

Product Description

PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY, the conclusion of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky s award-winning trilogy that spawned a worldwide movement to free three convicted men, tells the complete story of one of the most notorious child murder cases in U.S. history. Beginning with the 1993 murders, the film chronicles the 18-year fight to prove the innocence of the West Memphis Three; Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, incarcerated for an alleged Satanic ritual killing the convicted men, and their supporters worldwide, maintain they did not commit. With Echols on death row and Baldwin and Misskelley serving life sentences, PARADISE LOST 3 examines a horrifying crime with fresh insights that only the passage of time can provide. Facts are reexamined, new evidence is revealed, and new suspects are scrutinized. With an extraordinary perspective of three films spanning nearly two decades, PARADISE LOST 3 is a provocative examination of American justice and a celebration of the power of cinema to effect social change.


  • Nominee, Best Documentary Feature Academy Award®
  • Best Documentary, National Board of Review
  • Nominee Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary, Director s Guild of America
  • Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival
  • Most Valuable Documentary of the Year, Berlin s Cinema for Peace Awards

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
The plight of the infamous West Memphis Three has been the center of controversy for almost two decades now. Upon discovering three eight year old boys murdered and discarded in the Robin Hood Hills area of West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993, a subsequent investigation caused local police to target three teen outsiders for the crime. Based on the most specious of evidence and a rampant desire to see justice done for such a heinous act, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were convicted and sentenced in 1994 despite a clear lack of physical evidence or motive. Due to Echols appearance, interest in metal music, and fascination with disturbing imagery, the deaths were chalked up to being a part of a dark occult ritual. And a frightened and justifiable mob mentality ruled the day (especially as word of Misskelley's questionable confession circulated).

But the facts never really added up and filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky were on hand to document the proceedings in the disturbing feature (which won them an Emmy among other accolades) "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders of Robin Hood Hills" in 1996. As that film highlighted an apparent miscarriage of justice, it caused the West Memphis Three to become a national cause celebre. Graphic and unpleasant, it was a riveting film that brought an unrelenting awareness to the case and the legal system in general. In 2000, the pair released "Paradise Lost 2: Revelations" which was largely in response to the first film's reaction. It caught up with the boys in jail, and the focus seems to have been to dig further into the evidence and other possible suspects.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Hudson
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This "Paradise Lost" trilogy is beyond documentary film making. A better description of the films would be that they are legendary journalistic heroism that are philanthropic education for the American public, in regards to the horrors that CAN arise from the U.S. justice system when it fails.

This film was never meant to be the "final chapter" of the Berlinger and Sinofsky series on the West Memphis 3 case. When the film was practically 100% finished, a surprise hearing was called regarding the case. The hearing was prompted by the fact that the original trial judge David Burnett (who was also the judge for EVERY SINGLE APPEAL HEARING regarding this case) denied the WM3 an evidentiary hearing, despite allegations of juror misconduct in the original trial, recantations of testimony used in court, and DNA evidence that excluded the three defendants from the crime scene or the bodies AND pointed in a different direction that the police never investigated. Burnett's decision caused the defense to go to the Arkansas supreme court to show that Burnett was in error. The defense team succeeded and received an evidentiary hearing for the 3 men in prison, a hearing in which David Burnett was finally NOT going to be the judge that the West Memphis 3 would have to appeal to. The cops and District Attorney's office knew there would be a retrial, and that the defense would likely win. The unexpected hearing was called four months before the new evidentiary hearing. If you don't know how it turned out, I won't spoil that part here. Just know that because of that hearing, "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" became the final installment that the film making team would ever make.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY (2012, 120 minutes, HBO Films) - Here is the anxiously awaited 3rd installment of the continuing sagas of Damien Wayne Echols, James Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley, Jr., all convicted of murdering three 8-year-old boys in 1993. It wasn't aired on HBO and I just saw it On Demand - the only place it is available right now. It had originally been scheduled to air in January.

This compelling albeit slightly muddled documentary sequel begins by retelling the story of "The West Memphis Three" - Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley - and the horrible crime of three young boys' murders. At first I thought this was retread, but I quickly realized this was a vital documentary tool to catch up a viewer who might be new to the story.

The documentary does an excellent job of stunning the viewer by explaining how the case exploded in everyone's faces in the mid-2000s. New evidence was discovered and all of it re-examined; among the evidence was DNA and a new look at the victims' bodies. 46 minutes in, the infamous John Mark Byers, stepfather of one of the victims and one-time suspect, is interviewed yet again - this time on the side of three convicted men. Having gone through a similar witch hunt as the Three, Byers now rallied for their release. (After seeing the second documentary, the wife and I strongly suspected Buyers.)

What happened? The very first documentary, Paradise Lost - The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (see my review), drew public attention like nothing else since the O. J. Simpson or Michael Jackson trials. In 2007, four great forensic scientists were brought forward in a press conference to speak of the new evidence they'd reviewed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend all three
Sad that the one person with DNA evidence against him has never been charged for murdering three innocent young children. Read more
Published 5 days ago by ASConner
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising Conclusion
The third of three documentaries of three teens who were convicted of killing three 8-tear-old boys in 1993 Arkansas. Justice works slowly for the convicted or not at all. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Ann Sherry
4.0 out of 5 stars Good presentation
This is an excellent documentary about the corruption of the legal system, and how it IS a legal system., not a justice system. Read more
Published 9 days ago by AyeAyeCapn
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!!!
What an end to a great story.....I wish all 3 the best......and the murderer is still at large I hope they still catch him like they do with other cold cases, and you know... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Lucian A. Sperta
5.0 out of 5 stars Lazy cops and prosecuters "SCAPE GOATS"
Very good documentary, a must see for everybody. Shows the hidden underbelly of our broken justice system and how the cops and prosecutors and a corrupt judge can railroad anybody... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Jay Kime
5.0 out of 5 stars Great documentry
Good wrap up for the HBO Documentry. Shipping was fast, and video was just as described.
Published 27 days ago by Jennifer L. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this movie
Loved this movie. So glad the guys were finally released even thought they had to plead guilty to get out of prison.
Published 29 days ago by O. Driver
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many unanswered questions
In the first documentary, an effort was made to give an account of the facts of the case, and the lives of the people involved. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jennifer McNeely
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing story!
Published 1 month ago by Mitch Rapp
3.0 out of 5 stars I thought the documentary was good.
I'm reading the book Life After Death and I wanted to get additional information. I thought the documentary was good.
Published 1 month ago by Gail Ponder
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